tv Comunidad del Valle NBC November 11, 2012 10:00am-10:30am PST
"comunidad del valle." i'm damian trujillo. today, we begin with a season of giving. this is "comunidad del valle." we do begin with a season of giving. can you believe it's already here? the nbc bay area holiday food drive. along with safeway. here with us today are ralph with the south heyward parish and susan with the l.a. community food bank. welcome. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> our minds i think as a community have been preoccupied with so many things. the election. for one. are we paying attention to the shelves in our food banks do you think? what have we seen so far? >> one of the most interesting things i think is hunger's a
year-round problem. we think it's great the community gets involved but it is a year-round problem. agencies are facing the problem that food supplies are short. >> how dire is it now? >> we've almost doubled the number of people we're serving last year at this time. and yet our funding from the local government and federal government have been cut 15% to 20%. emphasifamily sizes are growing. and the working poor, their hours are cut and they need food. it's not because they're not trying. it's because every agency's experiencing the same kind of increase. >> is the face of poverty the same or is it changing? >> i'm seeing definitely more men. when i first started two years ago, it was 80%, 90% women. now we're seeing dads come in. single men coming in.
especially latino population. which makes up 61% of our recipients. we're seeing way more men coming in. the first time, they're a little hesitant. but after they feel welcomed, they're coming in. and we hear the story, i want to work, i want to work, i can't find anything. >> someone who runs a local pantry say the economy is turning the corner but when i see the line of need not turning the corner around the block, then i'll know we're turning the corner. >> the working poor, when you look at the numbers, that means they're employed, but when you don't work enough hours or make enough money, with the price of gas going up. with your own grocery bill, how much things have increased. it's not enough. >> everybody needs our help. that's why we have our food baskets here. tell us about what we're doing here in partnership with the bay area. >> listeners, watchers, can go
into their safeway store from now until christmas and they can buy a really great bag of shelf stable food for $10 and just put it in the barrel there. and food banks will be able to use that to feed people during the holidays and hopefully beyond. >> this will sustain them for a while because safeway does load up -- these food bagging,bags, will. i know we get the poundage that we acclaim late over the season, but it looks like people do open up their wallets. >> one of the things that is most important is this is an activity that families can do together. we can go to the grocery store, buy a bag of food, talk about the problem of hunger and help. it creates the community we all crave. it helps organizations like ralph hang out a nice bag to people. most people don't know that collectively the area food banks are serving about a quarter of a
million people every month. we are distributing about 140 million pounds of food annually through our group. and that's an indication that the need is quite great in our community. another thing that people may not know, primary customers are the child. children are really affected by their parent's ability to be able to work and make enough in order to feed their families. and the high cost of transportation, high cost of food, high cost of housing. as ralph was talking about, really affects the family's ability to provide a decent meal to their children. >> it's hard to swallow when you see the faces on your kids. just the other week i was at the grocery store and you can tell this family is living out of their car. there's three kids and their parents. how do you cope? how do you keep them positive? >> luckily, we are part of a community effort. so we have other agencies who
are trying to find housing. we have a family shelter of sorts that has a waiting list. but there's some hope there. what we try to do is -- we say we're feeding the body first with the food here. by the way, the boxes, the baggings that are coming forward, if we didn't have those, we wouldn't meet the need. we're also trying to feed the mind and community spirit. we have a community shower so people can get clean eed up. we have a family resource collaborative. every day, there's at least one new household, 1 to 18 new ones a day. and at least one of those is going to be someone who's sleeping in a car. actually, they feel lucky. sometimes they're lifting our spirit because they said, i could be under the freeway or under a tree. >> unfathomable. not to scare you, but nbc bay area personalities will be out at safeway stores this coming saturday. we want you to come out and say hello. we ask you to pick up one of these bags and donate it to the
bay area food banks. as you've heard, we desperately need the help. any final thoughts? >> i think two things. thank everybody in advance for whatever they could give. we need it now during the holidays because it is special. let this be delawaware that peo hungry every day. do it in memory of the fourth of july, a dead parent, anytime, anytime it's needed. thank you. >> we'll be back to speak with one of the volunteers.
we're talking about the nbc bay area food drive this coming saturday. with me now here on "comunidad del valle" is elizabeth, president of the junior league here in san jose. welcome back to the show. >> thank you. >> your effort is all about volunteerism. you heard the stories in the last segment about how bad that help is needed.
so that's where you come in. tell us why you do it. and why the junior league does it. you've been doing it for a while. what maybe you get out of it at the end. >> our community program is to focus on helping young children enter elementary school ready to learn and this rich. a child is going to be more successful in school if they come to school nourished and aren't sitting there thinking about when is the next time i'm going to be fed. so it's important to us that we participate in this event. we're partnering with nbc bay area and we're excited to be out there on saturday with over 50 volunteers that will be at the stores encouraging people to donate. >> susan, you know, one of our videos we showed previously was about the need for volunteers. because it was a shortage of volunteers. particularly at the allah meamed bank. what does it do to your effort to know there's folks like the junior league? >> we couldn't survive without
the help of volunteers. elizabeth and i met earlier and i was telling her about our involvement with our local junior league. volunteers like that not only in just engaging in the process with us for a one-day event but also their activity year round really helps us. we're distributing 12 million pounds produce a year. we couldn't do that packaging without volunteers who come in to our facility, the food bank, every day. >> you can see the difference that you all make. but i would imagine -- i think i know the answer to this question, but i'll ask it anyway. how easy or difficult is it to convince your members this is one thing to roll up their sleeves for? >> it's easy to convince them. we're a bunch of hard working women and they want to get in there and they do a great job. the impact we have on our community. >> it's fulfilling because you do go home at the end of the day knowing your one or two hours or
three hours of volunteer work is making the difference. >> yes, in just a couple hour, we are able to make such a huge impact. it feels good. >> i'll ask you the same question, when you see the faces of the poor, i mean, you can't help but feel that, you know -- i mean, you feel good that you yourself are able to care for yourself. but you also feel for those who maybe are not and that's why you want to lend a hand. >> absolutely, yeah. it's heartbreaking to see, especially young children that, you know, are in need and are hungry. your heart goes out to them. you want to help them. >> do you see the need is fluctuating, is it going up and down over the last maybe five years or so? or is it still on an uprise? >> so, it's been going up. so even though we hear about the economic recovery, it's a very slow recovery. and many people have had their hours cut. many people are just struggling to get by. a lot of people have lost their jobs. and it takes a long time to get
back on your feet. and in the meantime, your children have needs. your family has needs. transportation costs go up it and it's very hard for a family to get by. many people tell us the food bank is an absolute lifeline to them during these times of high need. and then people roll off and they're back on their feet and, you know, maybe a new group comes along. but the main thing is for people to realize, you know, food banks are there to help them and the member agencies are there to help them during these times. it's very important. we want to help. >> tell us about the junior league. i should have asked you about that to begin with. but volunteerism is primarily what you do. >> exactly. our mission is to volunteer and improve the community. our community focus is children and helping them get ready to enter elementary school. we do a lot of projects, events, where we'll go out. where in one day we can make an impact in our community.
as well as we have our program kids in the kitchen, where we encourage healthy eating and nutrition and teaching the importance of choosing water over soda, choosing fruits and vegetables, and then we also will partner with family services right now that reasons on literacy and the importance of reading to your children. >> i kind of glossed over the importance but i shouldn't have done that because when you talk about sending your kids, your child malnourished to school and spend the rest of the day like that, that's really detrimental to his or her growth and development and whatnot. >> absolutely, yes. professionally, i'm a classroom teacher, elementary school teacher, so yeah, kids coming to school hungry, you don't want to see that because they can't concentrate on their school work. they shouldn't be worried about when they're going to get their next meal. >> are we making a dent into the need or because the need keeps growing we just have to keep playing along? >> i think the most important thing is here's an opportunity
to help. if everybody went into their local safeway and bought a bag, that would help area food banks tremendously. we'll be there to support families during their time of need. certainly hope that the economy will recover more quickly. in the meantime, we're going to be there. we'll have partners like the junior league. we'll be able to meet community need with the help of everyone in our community. >> again, let me warn you one more time, there will be nbc bay area personnel out there, so don't let that deter you. we need you to stop by. i personally will be over at the capital expressway safeway store. my colleague will be at river mark. scattered throughout the bay area safeway stores. that's this coming saturday. pick up a bag for $10 and help the needy. any final thoughts? >> no, we hope to see lots of people out there on saturday. come see us. so we're looking forward to it. >> all across the bay area. up next here on we have more so
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it's time once again. that's what this next group is very good at putting together. they've been on our show before. they're back to tell us about what they're presenting to us here in the bay area. with me is the director of that group, steven. back on "comunidad del valle." welcome back to the show. it's something to colorful and traditional to see a performance. you add the navidad, the christmas spirit to it, and it blows up. >> it does. we're really trying to bring a mexican holiday spectacular to the bay area. to share how beautiful the mexican christmas is. and share it with the public at large and the community. we get to do that with sharing the story of the three wise men. having -- reliving some of the activities done during christmastime in mexico.
like during the processional that finalizes with the pinata scene. we did some fun stuff with the kids performing as well. >> all on stage. >> all on stage. all of christmas shoved into a good hour and a half t to two hours for you. >> we have a short clip. it's so colorful. it's one of the best in the country i would say. here's a short clip. ♪ and in those pictures, you see the kids. how big of a part of your performances are the children? >> actually, we have 50 dance students just under the age of 13 in dance school who will
perform. we also have our adult company which is 25 adult dancers. so we have a total of 75 dancers coming together to put together this wonderful performance. what we're seeing right now is during my professional dance time, which will be this weekend as well. >> getting your groove on. >> me giving some classes. good couple of years ago when i used to be an instructor before i started my own company. >> you know, when you want to learn this, i know it because my wife did it, my daughter now does it, if you want to know the dances of these regions, it pays to go to these regions and see from there. you see how they do it. how important is that? >> research is essential. it gives you a much greater perspective on what the dances are and who they become. so for example, the simplest
movement can be changed as long as you know what you're changing. so that's why we're -- [ speaking spanish ] -- because traditional may not carry and have certain dance positions or maneuverings that we do which makes it more elegant and definitely presents it for the stage. we are performing, exciting entertaining dance for people that may be a spin-off of what may be considered more traditional. >> when you have -- [ speaking spanish ] it's a different style? >> absolutely. we emphasize the first 45 minutes of our class sessions with our adult company. and the first 25 minutes with our children's company. basic ballet techniques. to help them about their posture. to teach them a better way of performing and presenting. not that there's anything wrong with the traditional style. what we subscribe to is the fact that if we're on stage the way
we're on camera, that we want -- it's okay that the audience knows that we should have a little bit more of -- absolutely. >> that's the difference between group and ballet? >> that's one of the main differences. the concentration on the performance and presentation aspect. >> tell us about your bay area performances. >> we'll perform on cal state hayward on december 8th, two performances at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. we'll also perform at the napa valley opera house on december 9th. which will be an afternoon showing. and that will actually be performed with live mariucci and giving a different take on it so we'll give the kids a day off and bring in the live band. a wonderful weekend. for the bay area to see who it is and what we are doing. >> you're doing all those -- >> we actually -- we're supporting a good friend of mine who's got a performance going in
san jose. doing their fiesta navidad so i'm not sure the title their performance but it is also christmas based. >> is this something you look forward to? >> we're excited for these christmas events. it's kind of concluding the year. it gives the kids a chance. and then we finish off with a lovely processional for the kids. >> i remember the performances. it's something you didn't want to miss. this is one of those. it's something you really want to -- it's more than just -- you know, because christmas season, religious in origin, but they're more cultural now. >> they're much more cultural. so you'll -- as you're well aware, the hispanic community has fallen off a little bit from the catholic faith but they still maintain a lot of cultural practices and those cultural practices come back to remembering what they did as kids with the pinatas. not the ones that have the door
on them but the ones that have the cones that they would then fill with the oranges or the nuts. this goes back to your research questions. when i was living in mexico, got a chance to research how it was celebrated, how those things were done in didfferent states and regions. that's helped us develop what i believe to be a beautiful performance for the public here in the bay area. >> i did that when i was a kid. one of the most beautiful things you can enjoy. there is our web address for more information. find out where they are going, find out where they are celebrating. thank you so much for being on the show. up next on "comunidad del valle" we have more so stay with us. ♪
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and for those celebrating a special day. here is our address for next week. pick up a copy of our newspaper and support your bilingual weeklies across the bay area. also, follow us on twitter. we thank you for sharing your sunday with us. we leave you with the sweet voices of the voices of latin rock. buenos dias. ♪